KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s Sime Darby Plantation Bhd
flagged concern on Friday about a possible ban by customs authorities in the United States, a key market for the firm in the world’s second largest producer and exporter of palm oil.
After reports this week identified Sime Darby as the next target of an import ban by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the company said it had not been given an opportunity to explain a petition filed against it by anti-trafficking group Liberty Shared (LS) in April this year.
Malaysia said on Thursday that it was anticipating the United States would ban imports of another plantation firm after CBP blocked entry of palm oil products from FGV Holdings Bhd
over suspicion of forced labour.
“Despite our attempts to engage with the CBP, we have not had the opportunity to provide any explanation and neither has (the company) been provided details of the allegation by LS,” Sime Darby said.
It said it had earlier responded to a summary of LS’s petition in public statements, and would continue engaging with the non-government organisation to hopefully obtain the details of the allegations.
Sime Darby’s annual exports to the United States are valued at about $5 million, it added.
(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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